Analysis Of Home Office Immigration And Visa Statistics Release For Year To March 2022

  • Work visas: 277,000 (50% higher than pre-pandemic)
  • Sponsored-study visas: 466,000 (58% more than pre-pandemic)
  • Family visas and permits: 301,830 (63% more than pre-pandemic)
  • Asylum claims: 55,146 (56% more than pre-pandemic).

The new visa statistics suggest that about a million people were granted entry to live in the UK in the twelve months leading up to March 2022. This may indicate the highest level of immigration to the UK in one year ever (although further statistics are required before this can be confirmed).

A total of 1.6 million visas and permits were granted, of which just over 600,000 were visitor visas.

The total of a million includes record asylum grants and resettlement, as well as temporary workers.

Numbers below are compared with year to March 2020 (pre-pandemic).


  • There was a big rise in sponsored study visas, from 300,000 in year to March 2020 to 466,000

Dependants / relatives

  • There was a huge rise in dependants of those on other visas, from 85,500 to 205,900, mostly accounted for by a massive increase in study dependants and also Hong Kong dependants. 


  • Total direct resettlements / relocations to refugees from places such as Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Ukraine and other countries in the period since 31 January 2021 were approaching 150,000 (nearly 120k from Hong Kong and 30k+ from Ukraine, Afghanistan and elsewhere).  For comparison, there were only about 5,000 people directly resettled from places of danger in the year to March 2020 (mostly from Syria).


  • Asylum applications are at the highest level for two decades (55,100 applications by main claimants). There were nearly 11,000 grants of asylum.

Work visas

  • Work visas are up on pre-pandemic (year to March 2020) from 195,000 to 277,000.
  • The new total is 50% higher than in the year ending March 2020.
  • Of the most recent total, about 30,000 grants were to seasonal workers.
  • Skilled work, which accounted for two thirds (66%) of work-related visas granted, saw the largest increase in visa numbers from the year ending March 2020, up 72,208 or 66%

Illegal immigration

Separate Home Office data released on the same day confirmed that there were about 4,500 people detected arriving by small boats in January to March 2022. This is more than three times higher than the same three months in 2021 (1,363).

This is essentially what our own Boat Tracker has said.

Other figures released on 26 May 2022:

The ONS has also released estimated figures on net migration for the year to June 2021. 

These suggest that net migration was running at nearly a quarter of a million in the 12 months to the middle of last year (239,000) – even as international travel was a fraction of pre-pandemic levels and most of us were forced into lockdowns.

It is also clear that non-EU immigration is driving by far the largest part of mass immigration.

26th May 2022 - Migration Trends, Policy, Visas/Work Permits

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